Strange Death and Dying Stories and Facts
-In Madagascar, families dig up the bones of dead relatives and parade them around the village in a ceremony called Famadihana. The remains are then wrapped in a fresh cloth and are reburied.
-46 death sentences were handed down in 2010, the lowest number of death sentences since the death penalty was reinstated in the US in 1976. The previous record for lowest number of executions was 52 in 2009. Texas led all states with 17 executions in 2010.
-Since its completion in 1937, more than 600 people have committed suicide by jumping off San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.
-During a railway expansion in Egypt in the 19th century, construction companies unearthed so many mummies that they used them as fuel for locomotives.
-Crucifixion is still an official form of punishment in Sudan.
In California the current death row system costs $137 million per year, whereas it would cost $11.5 million for a system where prisoners serve life sentences instead.
-It is impossible to commit suicide by holding one's breath. At worst, the person who tries this will eventually lose consciousness. The lungs will then start to breathe again automatically.
-In Italy it is illegal to make coffins out of anything but wood or nutshells.
-In ancient Egypt, when a rich man was mummified his heart was removed from his body and a heart-shaped stone carving of a dung beetle was put in its place.
-32 US states allow the death penalty. In May, 2013, Maryland became the latest state to outlaw capital punishment, joining 17 other states and the District of Columbia.-Since 976, 13 women have been executed in the US, compared to 1,360 males during the same period.
-Ancient Egyptians shaved off their eyebrows to mourn the death of their cats.
-Zoroastrians in India leave out the bodies of the dead to be consumed by vultures. The vultures are now dying off after eating cattle carcasses dosed with diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory used to relieve fever in livestock.
-Queen Victoria insisted on being buried with the bathrobe of her long-dead husband, Prince Albert, and a plaster cast of his hand.
-In medieval Japan, it was believed that there was a single hair somewhere on the tail of a cat that could Restore Life to a dead person. For this reason cats were brought into the room of a dying person and placed next to his or her bed. As a last resort, relatives sometimes had the dying person pluck a single hair from the cat's tail in the hope that this one would prove to be the magic strand.
-For organs to form during embryonic development, some cells must commit suicide. Without such programmed cell death, we would all be born with webbed feet.
-A body decomposes four times as fast in water than on land.
-More people commit suicide in New York City than are murdered.
-The tiny Poison Arrow Frog has enough poison to kill over 2200 people!
-Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Orange County, California. Number one is heart disease.
-Hanging might seem like a relatively simple proposition, but it has complications. Suspending or a very short drop, as typically seen in suicides, can result in a long, agonising death from strangulation. Too long a drop causes decapitation. The procedure is best performed by measuring the person's weight against the length of the drop to result in a broken neck, paralysis, and a quick death.
-Logician and mathematician Kurt Gödel died of hunger when his wife was hospitalised for six months in the year 1978. He had a compulsive fear of being poisoned and would only eat the food prepared by her.
-Cockroaches can live for nine days without their heads, at which point they die of starvation.
-American baseballer Jim Creighton died after suffering a ruptured abdominal hernia while hitting a home run. He swung the bat so hard that his bladder ruptured which caused him the internal injury.
-Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously - it can kill you.
-Attila the Hun is thought to have died from a nose bleed on his wedding night.
-Diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death in the US, accounting for about 180,000 deaths per year.
-Nearly 5,000 Americans under the age of twenty-four commit suicide every year. An additional 100,000 tried to.
-A murder is committed in the US every 23 minutes, which makes about 22852 murders each year.
-In 1992, approximately 750 deaths occurred in the United States due to workplace violence.
-Eighty percent of people in the United States die in a hospital.
-James Otis Jr. hoped his death to come by a bolt of lightning and often told his friends and relatives about it. On May 23, 1783 suddenly his wish was fulfilled when the lightning struck the chimney of a friend's house in whose doorway he was standing. He is reported to have told his sister "My dear sister, I hope, when God Almighty in his righteous providence shall take me out of time into eternity that it will be by a flash of lightning".
-In the United States, poisoning is the fourth leading cause of death among children.
-Under the proper conditions of moisture and heat, the flesh of a buried body will turn to soap. Known as adipocere, this strange substance is a chemical much like baking soda mixed with fat (and thus almost identical in composition to soap) and is called ''grave wax'' by undertakers. Flight Club anyone?
-In Erwin, Tennessee an elephant was once hanged for murder.
-Hypoxemia is a general term for inadequate oxygenation of the blood and cellular tissue. After the heart has stopped beating, for whatever reason, the body's tissues are no longer supplied with life-giving oxygen.
-Influenza caused over twenty-one million deaths in 1918.
-Once upon a time, when an Australian Bushman died, his body was lowered into a grave where a special kind of gravedigger awaited it. This person's job was to slice up the corpse and hand out bits of the flesh to the mourners. The order in which the relatives partook of the feast was strictly prescribed. A mother ate from her children, and children from their mother, a man could eat his sister's husband and his brother's wife. A father, however, could not eat his children, nor children their father.
-A dentist invented the Electric Chair.
-Each year in America there are about 300,000 deaths that can be attributed to obesity.
-Garry Hoy died proving that his glass was indestructible. The incident took place in the year 1993 when Garry threw himself against the window of a small meeting room which was located on the 24th floor of Toronto Dominion Centre. Gaz was right - the glass didn't break... it instead popped out of the window frame and he fell to his death.
-The leading cause of deaths for children between the ages of 1 and 4 are motor vehicle crashes.
-Over the last 50 years in the United States, approximately 9,000 people have died as a result of tornadoes, 5,000 as the result of floods, and 4,000 as the result of hurricanes.